Hello all and thanks for reading this.

I have a Singer 70 sewing machine that my husband bought for me as a gift. When I sew knits (as I begin from the end of a piece of knit fabric), the feed dogs pull the end of the knit below the throat plate. And the fabric gets stuck/doesn’t move. This is getting worse and worse and it is a new machine. It only happens with knits. When I was using this machine in my sewing class, my teacher told me that Singers are notorious for doing this.

When I called Singer customer service, they said that it is a problem with the way the machine is threaded. If so, then why does this not happen with cottons? If so, why does this happen when my mother (lifelong sewist) threads the machine? If this is so, why does this happen when my teacher threads the machine?

It keeps happening to the point where I’m ready to give up sewing altogether. I’ve had several experienced sewists tell me (after I purchased the machine) that Singers has had significant quality problems in recent years.

Any feedback that you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!

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  • Me1_large

    Jun 13, 2014, 03.10 AMby mbuchanan1

    Make sure you use the correct type of needle for knit/stretch fabric.

  • Eb175c68c6e86cf172dba0a73bdf951828c38776_large

    Jun 13, 2014, 03.06 PMby lincatz

    This is a super-common problem and one that frustrates even experienced seamstresses. Here’s a collection of help I have gleaned from years of experience.

    Be sure that you are using a fine ballpoint needle with your knit. knits need a different needle than wovens -the all purpose designation is wishful thinking IMHO. Leave slightly longer than normal thread tails before starting -reel out a bit of extra thread from both needle and bobbin and hold then when you start sewing so they don’t bounce back under the feed dogs. If the thread is being drawn under then the fabric follows. Start your seams away from the edge of the fabric and back sew, then sew forward. Don’t let the fabric escape from under the foot! Even better: start sewing with a piece of fine paper under the fabric when you start. The paper needs to stick out behind where the seam starts so the edge of the fabric is supported and it only needs to be about an inch along the seam under the fabric. This is usually enough to support the fabric when starting. You might need to loosen your tension a little bit, make a few test seams to check your adjustments.

    Sometimes you need to use a finer thread. Regular sewing machine thread might be too coarse for a really fine knit. I have used Coats and Clark’s Dual Duty XP Fine thread in fine knit fabrics and it makes for less “rope-like” seams. here’ the product page: http://www.makeitcoats.com/en-us/explore/sewing-quilting/coats-sewing-threads/dual-duty-xp-fine

    The needle/throat plate might be a problem, too. if it’s an all purpose plate the hole could be a touch too large. One tried and true tip is to place painters tape that leaves no residue across the plate and carefully cut just enough of a hole away to allow for needle penetration but nothing more. The fabric can’t go into a hole if it’s not there!

    And one more thing: Don’t use the “stretch stitch” -use the good old fashioned zig zag setting -it sews stretchy knits far better than any fancy specialty stretch stitch. Trust me, I’ve been sewing since the 1970’s and nothing is better for stretch fabrics and t-shirts that the plain zig zag.

    Here’s a blog with some helpful basic tips for sewing t-shirt knits: http://www.tillyandthebuttons.com/2014/02/sewing-knit-fabric-on-regular-sewing.html this covers all the basics.

  • Self_portrait_large

    Jun 13, 2014, 10.40 PMby Sabrina Wharton-Brown

    Hello, I hope you don’t give up on sewing! The best advice I can give you for this issue is to put tissue paper or stabiliser under the fabric when you sew stretch fabrics. This is a good idea with any machine. It will stop the fabric going down the needle hole.

    It’s true your machine shouldn’t have this problem, but there are usually ways around things. Maybe you could ask at the shop where your husband bought it. If the purchase was recent, they might replace the machine for you.

  • Missing

    Jun 15, 2014, 08.04 PMby Zynthiaj

    If you pull your threads as you start this should help and the best thing to do would be to get a plate with a smaller hole. I hope this helps.

    Good luck!

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    Jun 16, 2014, 03.55 PMby DogMom1

    Thanks so much, everyone, for all of your advice! I really appreciate it and will be using all of your insights. Thanks again for taking the time to respond to my inquiry! :-)

  • Missing

    Jun 18, 2014, 06.24 AMby motera

    I would like to support Sabrina’s excellent advice on the tissue paper. This will also help make seams easier to sew and neater result in knits, as the tissue prevents the seam from stretching as you sew.

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